In a previous article, we learned that UV light, specifically Ultraviolet C, can help destroy the DNA and RNA of micro-organisms. So what does science have to say about this claim?

From water treatment plants to hospitals, the use of UV-C light to disinfect is widespread. In the past, Ultraviolet C (100-280 nm) has been shown to disinfect surfaces, water and air.

UV-C light can inactivate bacteria, fungi, spores and even viruses. A virus in itself is not a living organism, but it clings to living material. The photons in UV-C light interact with the DNA and RNA molecules of the pathogens to prevent them from multiplying.

Disinfecting air with UV-C light

Since air is mobile, disinfection works well. Especially in rooms where ventilation is difficult or impossible, UV-C is a good solution. UV-C light at a wavelength of 254 nm is an efficient disinfectant.

Because UV-C light is harmful to humans, lower wavelengths, for example, 222 nm, have already been investigated. Research at Columbia University showed that a low dose of 222-nm light could inactivate more than 95% of the H1N1 influenza virus (flu). Secondly, in Japan, they found that UVC with a wavelength of 222 nm was able to inactivate a broad spectrum of microbial pathogens.

In addition, a study at Tokushima University Graduate School (2018) found that the less harmful UV-B rays could help inactivate the bird flu virus.

What about coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are the subject of much scrutiny these days, including from scientists. Research from 2020, for example, shows that continuous exposure to UV-C in public places can result in 90% viral inactivation in 8 minutes, 95% in 11 minutes, 99% in 16 minutes and 99.9% in 25 minutes.

Research at Ulm University of Applied Sciences in 2020 and 2021 also indicates that UV-C could work. Like 254 nm, they found that long-term use of 222 nm could work equally well.

Finally, the most promising research comes from Boston University that subjected UV-C light from the American brand Signify to several tests. It showed that UV-C light could reduce the COVID-19 virus to undetectable levels even after 9 seconds.

Good news! Even better is that UV-C air disinfection systems can be mounted inconspicuously and have no effect on human health whatsoever.

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